Lakewood Confidential

A desperate artist. A reclusive legend. A story no one knows.

Tondra only has a few months to prove to her parents she can support herself as an artist in New York City or they will force her to return to her native Atlanta. She left her parents and boyfriend behind to pursue her dream career and desperately needs an entrĂ©e into the art world. She trained as a tattoo artist as a financial back-up plan, which comes in handy when her new friend Friday Reed asks her to do a guest spot on the Reed brothers’ tattoo shop reality show. Tondra knows this exposure on national television is the break she’s been waiting for.

When she shows up for her guest gig, she is astonished to learn her skin of the day is none other than legendary hip-hop artist Lakewood, another Atlanta native. Tondra realizes that working with him on the TV show is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to showcase her talent. However, when she asks what sort of artwork he wants for his tattoo, Lakewood proceeds to tell her the story of his life. Not the story the world thinks it knows, but the one he has never shared publicly. He doesn’t allow the story to be taped, but all the details are trapped in her mind and sketchbook.

Tondra knows his story is worth a mint to the insatiable celebrity gossip machine. It would also get her even more media attention than the reality show spot ever could. She faces a serious choice that will affect the course of her career and the rest of her life.

This novella was originally published as part of the “Forget Me Not: Remembering Things We Have Lost” anthology to benefit Alzheimer’s and dementia research.